Dance Party

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Dance parties are frequent happenings in my household. Iris and I have tried to keep them to a minimum prior to 8am in the morning as to not disturb a sleeping household and to be courteous to those who just are not ready for loud singing and jumping around the living room before they get the chance to eat breakfast. Although there is nothing better than to watch and listen to a cute blonde with her wild curly hair bouncing around singing, mumbling, making up words and piecing together songs in her pajamas.

 

Certain songs can be very catchy and easy to listen to over and over before you really think of the words and the meaning behind the verses. As I listened to Iris sing and dance to the new Katy Perry song “Roar” I really started to listen to the lyrics describing a woman who once never expressed her views and feelings and sat quietly until she found her voice”I used to bite my tongue and hold my breath scared to rock the boat and make a mess. So I sat quietly, agreed politely I guess that I forgot I had a choice ……..I stood for nothing, so I fell for everything”. I am watched Iris sing the chorus over and over with such passion in her eyes. Her words no longer mumbled but more clearly sung with three year old confidence.” I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through the fire. Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me ROAR. Louder, louder than a lion
Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me ROAR.”
Now I know she is three and sometimes my attempts at “life lesson” talks are followed with a reply of “I like suckers!” Iris and I talked about always keeping that confidence and the feeling of being a champion. Never letting anyone determine for you who you are as a person or get in the way of your goals. Surprisingly the reply from Iris was “ok mommy, I will!” and not “my school has a phone”. I am proud to be her mom everyday but to think she took something out of that conversation that may help her to become the best person she can be made me a happy. If only everyone could also easily take that confidence and “champion” feeling and to apply it to their lives and their own goals for themselves and families. I now think of Iris and her confidence every time the song is played during a boot camp or kettle bell class. I hope for those few moments while performing the exercise that participants are listening to the words and will begin to start believing in themselves. More times than not we stop an exercise not because our bodies are tired but mentally we think we need to be done. My hope for everyone in the next few weeks is that they get the “champion” feeling. Think of how much more work you would put in, how proud of yourself you would be, how many more calories you would burn, and ultimately how much faster you will get to your goal of being the best you that you can be.  Just ask Iris….or better yet, ask her to sing it to you. It’s hard to do anything but believe the words when it’s coming out of that sweet sassy blonde.

What a Summer!

The cooler weather has officially made me feel summer is coming to an end. While I enjoy the thoughts of jeans, sweatshirts, leaves changing colors, and apple picking with my daughter I’m not ready to leave the summer of 2013 behind. As we always say, it has gone by fast and what a crazy busy summer it has been. Coming from someone who never sits down I am even surprised how much I have crammed in.  I am so thankful to have spent it with so many friends and A & B Fitness participants doing some firsts like running two half marathons, triathlon relays, a 50 mile bike ride, glow run, and a few of my favorite events like the warrior dash, mud runs, 5k’s, and Color Me Rad. Running the half marathons with Bob and Shana was an experience I will never forgot, the sense of accomplishment I felt not only for them but for myself was something I hope everyone can experience. Having a goal, working hard for it, and then being able to cross it off your list is a great feeling. To think back to some of the first few workouts I did with both Bob and Shana and where they are now still makes me shake my head in amazement. Two career minded, very family focused individuals carved out time for themselves to become healthier, happier, and cross off something from their own bucket lists. Something I hope more people will realize is not a selfish act and will do the same for themselves.

Participating in these events and being surrounded by those who enjoy being active and having fun has made this summer memorable. And to be honest….a little exausting20130817_092450 20130831_104845 bob and b Glow run 1 personal 3 triathlon 3 warrior dash blog. Even those who think they are unstoppable need a little rest sometimes to rejuvenate, heal, refocus on goals, and have a little down time. It may be awhile until my next event (I’m sure there are a few taking bets on how long that really will be!). But for now I have plenty of summer memories to hold me over for a while. Thank you all for a great summer 2013!

Cardio or Strength?

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Cardio or Strength?  What are you missing in your workouts for success?

What to do and how much of it is the most common question beginner and intermediate exercisers will ask.  Time is precious for everyone, and taking time for yourself can be hard to do without feeling guilty. Not wasting time, utilizing that precious time and finding the combination of exercise that works in your schedule and geared towards your goals will be the key to your success and put you on the right track to feeling better.

Your workouts don’t need to take hours out of your day.  Effective workouts can be done in 30-45 minute sessions.  Variety, intensity, and type of exercise are incredibly important.  Incorporating both cardiovascular and strength training into your routines at a high enough intensity is a must no matter your age or exercise level. Cardiovascular exercise benefits the heart, reduces the risk of heart disease, manages high blood pressure, lowers cholesterol, prevents depression, controls weight, and improves circulation. While strength training improves lean mass, increases your metabolism, and strengthens bones.  Take the guessing out your workouts and follow the guidelines below to give you the most benefit out of your workouts.

Cardiovascular

30-45 minute sessions at an intensity that you are unable to hold a constant conversation. You  may be able to chat with the person next to you, but will need to stop and take breaths between phrases.  Complete 3-5 times a week. Choose something you enjoy; elliptical, walking in a hilly neighborhood, running, biking, a group class, etc.  Can’t start with 30 minutes?  That’s okay! Work your way up, start with 5 minutes and add on 2 minutes every week.  You have to start somewhere, something is better than nothing, as long as you continue to work at it you will be amazed how fast you can gain cardiovascular endurance.

Strength Training

30-45 minutes. 2-3 times a week with one day of rest between sessions. Choosing exercises that incorporate something for every muscle is important to avoid muscles imbalances that can have a negative effect later on.  Exercises that involve as many muscles groups at one time are great for functionality, higher calorie burners, and to make your workout sessions more effective and shorter in length.  Add in push-ups, squat presses, walking lunges with bicep curls, or body weight exercises that can be done with a TRX strap or in a class. New exercises need to be incorporated in your workout routine every six to eight weeks to avoid hitting a plateau, and getting frustrated or bored with your workouts.  Personal trainers and other fitness professionals can help design a program that is fun and effective. Even one session with a trainer can make a world of difference.

We have learned a lot about strength training over the last ten years.  Programs and classes are now incorporating both cardio intervals and strength into one! This is great way to get the benefits of both cardio and strength at one time.  Try out a boot camp class, kettle bell, or High Intensity Interval Training type of program.  These classes and exercises can be higher in intensity, know your limitations and talk with the instructor or trainer beforehand to help you get the most out of the exercise and routine. Most importantly, don’t waste your time on doing one type of exercise and not adding variety into you program.  We spend our day planning our every hour to make the most out of the day, why wouldn’t we do the same when it comes to our exercise program? Goals are achieved with hard work, sweat, and a lot of determination!

 

 

Weight Loss & Motivation

Motivation…we all want it, some of us have it. It’s what we all need to accomplish a healthy weight and to maintain it.

Why can some people lose weight, join a boot camp or yoga class that has intimated them for years, run a half marathon like they have always wanted or cut out added sugar from their diet? Some of these people make it look so easy and effortless while most of us struggle to find that balance. It’s the motivation and the belief that you too can achieve the healthy body you have always wanted and do what you need to live a long prosperous life for yourself and your families.  It’s the willpower, confidence, and the mindset to want more that will help you get to where you want to go.

Know what you want and have a clear defined path to get there. If you don’t know what you need to do to get there ask for help. Personal trainers at your local personal training studio or workout facility are the perfect professionals to ask and gain knowledge from. You can’t always do it alone. Spending money on a class or trainings can be a good investment. Think of your own profession, someone with some knowledge of your job may be able to complete some of your tasks but they may take longer to complete them and not as efficiently.

Make a game plan. Decide how many times a week you are going to devote to exercise and for how long.  Who is going to get your son or daughter to and from school or activity if your class conflicts with family members schedules? Ask your boss if you can work out during lunch breaks. Wake up 30 minutes earlier than usual to get in a quick effective workout. These are all questions to ask yourself and to get answers for before you begin. Do more of what is working, and less of what isn’t.

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Meet Shana (her before shot on the left), a wife and very busy mother of 3 daughters – ages 10, 15, and 19 who are involved in basketball, softball, golf, band, and orchestra. Shana works full time as a music teacher and her husband Mike is active in the US Military and also works as a pilot.  Mike has been deployed 8 times over the last 6 years, each deployment ranging from 90-120 days. Time and energy were what Shana needed to prioritize, like everyone else, to start her weight loss journey (her “rollercoaster ride”) in November 2012. She had more than enough valid excuses and reasons to never begin.

“I’ve learned that in order for me to be the best that I can be—wife, mother, friend, or teacher—I need to feel good.  If I make this a priority then the excuses are pushed aside and I not only feel good physically, but mentally as well.  I’m happier, more focused, more confident, and more energized.    I knew I needed to make a change that would stick.  I never called it a diet, but rather a lifestyle change.  I started personal training and received guidance with nutrition choices, and I was on my way to a new me.  Not only did my family catch on to my excitement, but were also seeing results.  This lifestyle change has been the best gift I could’ve given my family and myself!”   Shana Tiltrum.

What’s the secret? When related to reaching weight loss goals, we are motivated by RESULTS. How do we get those? Stick with a program or class for a minimum of 6 weeks for at least 1 to 2 hours a week. You will be surprised what an hour or two a week can do to see results. Measure your success in the first 6 weeks by how much more energy you have, sleep patterns improving, being more patient with your family, your clothes maybe fitting just slightly differently, or you can walk up the same flight of stairs without as much struggle. There will be a “fight or flight” period during the first 6 weeks where you may not being seeing numbers on the scale go down as much as you thought they would or should. This is such a crucial and important time. When you feel this, you need to keep going! As with anything in life, things happen when you put time and effort into them and don’t give up. What are you waiting for? Believe in yourself, surround yourself with positive people who believe in you and work hard. We all get to the finish line the same, one step at a time with a few stumbles and hurdles along the way, but all that matters is that you decided to start and kept going from there.

And here is Shana after!

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Welcome to our blog!

Hello everyone,

This is going to be a great place to get some motivation and inspiration from a&b Fitness! We will be blogging about many different things here, from fitness to nutrition, to exercise programs to general thoughts about life! Thanks for visiting and enjoy!

 

Amber & Becky